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Israel and Jordan are colourful, cultural and spiritual havens - perfect for a festive and memorable Christmas.
On offer are the very best travel experiences and destinations to explore. Kick off in the buzzing and vibrant Tel Aviv. Visit a number of spiritual sites, including the baptism site of Jesus. Enjoy a relaxing visit to one of the best resorts along the Red Sea. Spend Spend Christmas eve in a Bedouin camp in theWadi Rum desert! Float in the Dead Sea and visit the fishing village of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to the Middle East and Tel Aviv, the buzzing and vibrant city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast! Once you’ve checked into your hotel, the rest of the day is yours to explore the city. Marvel at the architectural sites, or sit back and relax at one of the little cafés that Tel Aviv is known for. At night, the city will come to life with twinkling Christmas lights and nightlife.
After breakfast we head to the banks of the Jordan River Valley to Qasr el Yehud, the site where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist. Leaving the religious site behind we drive through the Judean Desert, to Mount Masada. Enjoy the views of the Dead Sea below, and the panorama of the Moab Mountains in Jordan. We’ll spend the night in Eilat, where you can delight with an included dinner of local dishes at a traditional kibbutz - a true Israeli experience!
It’s Christmas Eve and you get to enjoy it on the shores of the Red Sea! Walk along the beach or go diving in the clear blue waters. Timna Park and Dolphin Reef are also perfect ways to pass the time before celebrating tonight. The Underwater Observatory is also an unforgettable experience! Keen to explore further afield? Head to the Red Canyon hiking trails to explore the mesmerising red rock canyons. There are trails for every fitness level.
It’s Christmas Day and we’re heading to Jordan and it’s incredible natural landscapes! The first stop is the port city of Aqaba, famous for its bustling Arab marketplace, or ‘souk’ as its locally known. It’s the ideal place to buy some festive souvenirs. Get ready for the highlight of the day as we jeep safari into the Wadi Rum desert. The local Bedouin drivers will show us the epic lunar landscape where movies like “The Martian” were filmed. Tonight we stay in a Bedouin camp - settle down to a dinner of traditional Bedouin and Jordanian dishes and celebrate Christmas together around a campfire under the stars.
Set off on an adventure to explore the ancient site of Petra, known as Jordan’s most popular archaeological site. Petra is also one of UNESCO’s 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Its fame reached new heights when it was featured in the movie Indiana Jones. We’ll discover the many tombs and temples carved into the pink sandstone cliffs, including the star attraction, The Treasury (Al Khazneh). We’ll sit down to a traditional lunch before we travel on to the Dead Sea. With the high content of salt, the Dead Sea gives swimmers the feeling of weightlessness and you can even lie back and read a book! This evening we’ll have free time to explore the capital, Amman, our overnight destination.
Jerash dates back to the Roman times and is one of the largest archaeological sites in the Middle East. We enjoy a local lunch in this historic place, before crossing over to Israel and visiting the Sea of Galilee. A highlight of our Christmas tour, this freshwater lake is an important pilgrimage site for Christians. Capernaum is our next destination, this fishing village is believed to be the site where Jesus performed his Biblical miracles. We then overnight in Nazareth or Tiberias.
First up today is Nazareth, the city said to be the childhood home of Jesus. The city is famous for its religious significance and for the numerous architectural sites. Then, we head to the coastline and the beautiful port town of Caesarea. This was built as an important port on the Mediterranean coast by King Herod, and later became the capital of the Roman Judea province. We highly recommend that you make your way to the Caesarea amphitheatre. It’s one of the oldest in the eastern Mediterranean! This afternoon we’ll take a city tour to explore urban Tel Aviv and Jaffa, the ancient port city that inspired the biblical story of 'Jonah and the Whale'. This evening we overnight in Jerusalem.
Start the day in Bethlehem, with a guided tour of the city where Christians believe the Nativity of Jesus took place and the Christmas story began. Top sites include the Church of Nativity and the beautiful Shepherds’ Fields. Catch a glimpse of the Banksy wall on the Israeli West Bank Barrier. View the City of Gold from the Mount of Olives and wander through the Church of All Nations. Onwards to the Old City of Jerusalem, a destination that is home to more religious sites than any other square kilometre in the world! Visit the Wailing Wall, Mount Zion, Via Dolorosa and even more! End the day back in Jerusalem, where you’ll have the evening free - we recommend visiting the Yehuda Market. Look for some of the Christmas time delights like Mamoul cookies (butter cookies) or Ghraybeh, Middle Eastern sweet shortbread.
A free day to take your time to explore! Jerusalem has been described as one of the most spiritually intense destinations in the world. It's a holy land for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike. After spending time in the old city yesterday, you can head out to some of the other big attractions today. The Israel Museum is a must-see and is one of the top archaeological and art institutions in the world! We also recommend Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and Gardens of Gethsemane. Of course the iconic Tower of David is also well worth a visit.
Your tour of Israel and Jordan has come to an end. After breakfast we say our farewells! We hope this has been one of the most memorable Christmas’ yet!
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